Li Ka-shing’s pain could be Australia’s gain

Australia’s decision to block CK Infrastructure’s $9.5 billion takeover of APA Group shows it wants to maintain a competitive energy sector and protect local ownership.

Australia is one of Asia’s most open markets when it comes to foreign ownership of local companies. But it is also striving to protect local interests.

Last week, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg shocked the market by revealing his preliminary decision to reject the proposed A$13 billion $9.5 billion takeover of APA Group by Hong Kong’s CK Infrastructure, sending the Sydney-listed company's share price down nearly 10% in the following day's trade.

While Frydenberg’s decision is not yet final, the chance of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and his CK Group solely taking over Australia’s largest gas distributor is now extremely low. The treasurer has also,...

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